The Affordable Care Act required Medicare to penalize hospitals with high numbers of heart failure patients who returned for treatment shortly after discharge. New research shows that penalty was associated with fewer readmissions, but also higher rates of death among that patient group.
Because sometimes readmission is necessary for quality care—whether that readmission was driven by later complications, by too-soon original discharge in the Medicare (which is to say Government) pressure to hold down costs first, or by some other factor—but that Government pressure to push the patient out the door also pushes against the patient’s return. Even when necessary.
Recall that under Obamacare, health coverage plan providers are required to subsidize low-income Americans (who, under Obamacare, are required to buy the plans regardless of need for the plans on offer or ability to pay the vig for them) for their costs in buying those health coverage plans. Recall further that the Obama administration paid those plan providers monies to reimburse them for those government-mandated subsidy payouts. Recall also that Congress never appropriated any funds for the purpose of making those payments to the plan providers. Finally, recall that a DC District court ruled those payments to the health plan providers illegal—because Congress had not appropriated any funds for the purpose. Then the Trump administration ceased those payments to the health plan providers.
These providers, which surprisingly The Wall Street Journal misapprehends as insurers, are bracing for a drop in enrollment in the ongoing health plan provision program “turmoil.” There’s this key passage in the article at the link:
[M]any firms say they expect to lose consumers who will bear the full brunt of the rate increases—those who aren’t eligible for the health law’s premium subsidies, which help enrollees with annual incomes of less than around $48,000.
The Wall Street Journalhas noted that the Trump administration has taken regulatory action to reduce, if not eliminate (the Supreme Court still has to do its job vis-à-vis a Little Sisters of the Poor case, as does Congress legislatively, contra a short handful of Republicans who prefer Obamacare intact over any step toward getting rid of it), the requirement that health plan providers provide contraception to women at no cost to those women coverees and do so regardless of any question of conscience or religious tenet.
Naturally, Progressive-Democrats and the Left generally have their collective panties in a wedgie over that. However, they carefully ignore certain inconvenient facts.
The Wall Street Journalhas misunderstood the situation and the proposal [emphasis added].
President Donald Trump’s executive order on health insurance, the most significant step so far to put his stamp on health policy, is designed to give more options to healthy consumers. It also could divide the insurance market in two.
What Trump is purportedly going to do with his Executive Order is
instruct federal agencies to loosen rules on health plans that the administration says have driven up premiums and reduced insurance offerings
These are…triggered…by Thursday’s Wall Street Journalpiece on how the Graham-Cassidy Plan Would Change Health Coverage.
The Congressional Budget Office has said that, without a rule requiring insurers to charge all customers comparable premiums, health plans could become prohibitively expensive for some people with pre-existing conditions.
The plans wouldn’t be insurance plans, either, since the premiums wouldn’t have anything to do with the risk being transferred. The plans would be welfare plans.
Separately, states could also waive a requirement that insurers provide a set of medical benefits like mental-health services and prescription-drug coverage. If those benefits aren’t required, people with costly medical conditions could have difficulty buying insurance with the relevant services or medications.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) is beating that drum, again, and has support from some Progressive-Democratic Party Senators.
The health proposal, dubbed Medicare for all, would offer the same suite of medical benefits required for some insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs. Mr Sanders argues that although taxes would likely rise to support the new system, families would save money by no longer needing to purchase health coverage. The government, he says, could also secure lower prices for medical services.
[F]ew congressional Republicans have signaled they are ready to let the health-care market deteriorate while their constituents are still battling higher premiums and fewer insurers to choose from on the individual marketplace.
This means those Republicans are signaling that they don’t have the stomach to repeal Obamacare at all, which would be the ultimate deterioration of it.
This is a betrayal of their constituents along two dimensions: the cynical destruction of their promise to repeal and replace, and their decision to continue inflicting Obamacare with its steadily increasing premiums and fewer insurers to choose from on their constituents.
In 1971 Kirby Williams went to Vietnam as a US Army draftee and worked as a finance clerk. In 2010 he went to a Veterans Affairs clinic in southern Illinois where a radiologist took a scan of his kidneys.
Unfortunately, the radiologist missed a 2- to 3-centimeter mass in one of his kidneys, and by last December that mass had grown to between 7 and 8 centimeters. Now the 66-year-old has, at most, two to five years to live.